Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Monday 12th September

Monday, a new week, and already seven days since I left home. Can’t believe how far I’ve come, and what I’ve seen in such a short time.
I bade farewell to Strathpeffer and headed southwards. My next stopover was not that far away, Ardersier. on the south side of the Moray Firth.
Before then I visited Dingell. A small quaint town, and on a sunny day would have been very attractive.
Again the weather was not conducive to sightseeing, which by now is getting tedious, and driving around in circles is no fun.
I headed for Inverness in the hope of some refuge from the weather, but it followed me all the way. I think I missed the server storms that the west coast and central Scotland had, but never the less, it was heavy rain. Inverness I am sure has attractions, but none jumped out at me, and apart from the castle I was at a loss. I then remembered one of my good customers is the Inverness Leisure Centre. My SatNav said I was just six minutes away, so I made a house call. I think she was pleased to see me . . .

I then decided to head for the B&B in Ardersier. Those of you with an interest in all things military will recognise the name. Fort George was built in the 18th century after the 2nd Jacobite uprising, and has the distinction of never being attacked. It is still a home to the Royal Highland Fusiliers today.

By B&B overlooks the bay, and on clear day you can see the Black Isle on the north side of the Moray Firth. (more about the B&B tomorrow)

Last nights concert was at an unusual venue - Inverness Airport. I picked the B&B as it is only 10 minutes drive (nowhere actually near Inverness). It is a very smallish, modern airport, and the Blas had taken over the restaurant area. Because of the locality, it seemed the attendance would not be as full as previous concerts, but around 7.20pm a coach load of young Germans (probably students) came and swelled the numbers.

By now you will realise I did enjoy the music. The group Outside Track were playing again - I saw them up Cairngorm Mountain on Friday, but they played a different set last night.
All the other artists were excellent, including an unusual duo, Iain Morrison and Daibhaid Martin. Ian reminded me of singer/songwriter Ralph McTell, but in a much deeper way. He sang his own compositions in English, and Daibhaid recited his poetry between verses in Gaelic. Not everyone’s cup-of-tea, and no foot stamping/handclapping rhythms, but it shows the diversity of this genre of Scottish Highlands music - the common connection is that these guys come from the Highlands and understand their heritage. I am sorry that was my last concert.

Tomorrow I head southwards to North Queensferry, just north of Edinburgh. I still have a lot to look forward to: The Borders, Northumberland, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

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